“Duk Sahn Carrying His Bowls”

The following is taken from Mu Bul Ju Ji Su Nim’s introduction and Soen Sa Nim’s talk at the Man Cham ceremony on March 3, 1978, at the Providence Zen Center.

Ju Ji Su Nim: Welcome to the first Man Cham. Man Cham is a formal Dharma speech, the style of which originated in China. “Man Cham” means ”Coming together to check the Dharma”. Originally in China, Japan, and Korea; a Zen Master’s Dharma was very expensive, very difficult to hear, and many people wanted to hear it. Here in the United States, we get the Dharma very cheaply, but it is getting more and more expensive. So we all have been sitting for four days and are now gathered here to hear this Dharma.

When a Zen Master speaks the Dharma, it is just like a mirror, so that your own mind is reflected. If you hear this speech and you understand yourself, you understand your mind. You are Buddha, and you can save all people. If you are not Buddha; if you have bad karma and you hear this speech, then you will understand your bad karma, and you must do more hard training.

Zen Master Seung Sahn enters the Dharma room followed by Mu Bul Su Nim, carrying a book wrapped in cloth, and Mu Ryeom Su Nim, who is ringing a bell. They stop at the high seat before the altar and bow, and the book is placed before the seat. Then Soen Sa Nim, takes the high seat, and the following is chanted (in Korean): ”This Dharma’s meaning is very profound. The whole assembly wants to hear it. Please, great Zen Master, descend. Reveal Buddha in this place.” Soen Sa Nim hits the Zen stick on the platform three times.

Soen Sa Nim: Before the ancient Buddha appeared, there is one which is, aready pure and clear. Even Shakyamuni Buddha did not understand the transmission to Mahakashyapa. What does this mean? Buddha transmitted to Mahakashyapa and through Bodhidharma, from India to China and then to Korea, and now to America. Now this Dharma shines here in this Dharma room. Which one is correct? Somebody appears and says, “I understand this,” but this stick hits him. Somebody else says, “I don’t understand,” and also this stick hits him. Why? KATZ! When Shakyamuni Buddha picked up a flower, Mahakashyapa only smiled. This is correct Zen.

Today we perceive one kong-an from the Mu Mun Kwan, number thirteen. Famous kong-an; already you understand. The title is, “Duk Sahn Carrying His Bowls.” Very difficult kong-an, but very easy.

One day, Duk Sahn came into the Dharma room carrying his bowls. Soel Bong, the Housemaster, said, ”Old Master, the bell has not yet been rung and the drum has not been struck. Where are you going, carrying your bowls?” The Zen Master was surprised. Then Duk Sahn returned to his room. Afterwards, Soel Bong told the head monk, Am Du, who then said, “Great Master Duk Sahn does not understand the last word.” Later Duk Sahn heard this and sent for Am Du. “Do you not approve of me?” he demanded. Then Am Du whispered in the Master’s ear. Duk Sahn was relieved. The next day on the rostrum making his Dharma speech, Duk Sahn was really different from before. Then Am Du was very happy. He went to the front of the Dharma room, laughing loudly and clapping his hands, and said, “Great joy! The Old Master has understood the last word. From now on, no one can check him.”

This is the kong-an. We’ll check the first point of this kong-an. Am Du said, “The great Master doesn’t understand the last word.” What is this “last word?” “Last word” means moment to moment, keep your correct situation, and this means “just like this.” When you are hungry, you must eat; when you are tired, you must sleep. When someone is hungry, give them food; when someone is thirsty, give them a drink. Tired time, sleep. That is tired time’s last word. Hungry time, you must eat. This is hungry time’s last word. When somebody is hungry, give them food. That is someone’s hungry-time’s last word. When somebody is thirsty and you give them something to drink, this is somebody’s thirsty-time’s last word. This last word is not difficult. our everyday mind is the last word.

Again, we check this: “One day, Duk Sahn came into the Dharma room carrying his bowls. Soel Bong saw this and said, ‘The bell has not yet been rung and the drum has not been struck. Where are you going carrying your bowls?'” It has already appeared, do you see? What is Duk Sahn’s mistake? If you understand Duk Sahn’s mistake, then you understand the correct situation; then you understand the last word. Very clear, this first course.

Next course: The Zen Master heard that the head monk said, ”He doesn’t understand the last word.” Now, the head monk and the Zen Master are very close, like father and son, but this head monk had bad speech about the Master, so he was very angry. “Come here! You don’t believe in me?” “No, no, no, I believe in you,” and he whispered in the Master’s ear. What did he whisper? This is the next course. Not difficult! If you keep your correct situation, then no problem.

So the next day on the high stand giving his Dharma speech, Duk Sahn was very different from before. What does this mean, “different from before”? There are two points: ”What is different before the Dharma speech?” and ”What is the Dharma speech?” Maybe before the speech, he didn’t understand the last word, and during the speech, he did understand. Maybe. I don’t know. What is “understanding-the-last-word Dharma speech”, and what is “not-understanding-the-last-word Dharma speech?” So, Am Du heard his speech and was very happy. Why? He taught the great Zen Master, so that the Master’s Dharma speech was changed. And he went to the front of the room laughing loudly and clapping his hands, and said, “Great joy! The Zen Master has understood the last word!” Before, he’d said, “The Zen Master doesn’t understand the last word.” Now he says, ”He does understand.” What is this last word? Very important.

Everyday mind is the last word; “just like this” is the last word; “put it all down” is the last word; “go straight” is the last word; “let it be” is the last word. It is not any special word. When you see the sky is blue, that is the last word. When you see this wall, at this time, the correct situation is only white. Not special. If you make something, are holding onto something, this last word goes away; it doesn’t like you. Don’t check your mind; don’t check your feelings; don’t check anything. Only go straight. This go-straight mind is very important. It is like one drop of water being stronger than rock. One drop after drop after drop for ten years, twenty years, one hundred years, will make a big hole. One drop nonstop, one point not changing. If you are changing, you have a problem; you cannot make a hole. If you stop, you also have a problem. Only drip, drip, drip. You must understand this: Try, try, try. Try-mind is stronger than demons, stronger than Buddha. It is able to do anything.

Why have we come here today to talk about this very difficult kong-an? For the Great Work of life and death. Some are from New York, some from New Haven, some from Cambridge, some from Providence. Why here? Only for the Great Work of life and death. If you finish the Great Work, then you understand what is your correct situation, what is your last word.

So again the kong-an: If Duk Sahn had kept his correct situation, then there would have been no problem, but he did not, so he had many problems. But one thing: “Soel Bong said, ‘The bell has not been rung; the drum has not been struck,’ and Duk Sahn returned to his room.” If you can give me one word, all the kong-ans are not necessary. If you were Duk Sahn and Soel Bong had said this to you, what would you have answered? “I am sorry?” (laughs) Then Am Du said, “The great Zen Master does not understand the last word.” This is not difficult. If you make difficult, you have difficult. Also, don’t make easy. Don’t make anything. The True Way is not dependent on understanding or not understanding. Much understanding cannot help you. So put it all down.

Mu Mun said, “Understand first word; then understand last word. The last word and the first word are not one word.”

What does this mean? What is “first word” and what is “last word”? We have four kinds of ‘like this’: First, ”without like this”, primary point. “Without like this” means true emptiness, complete stillness. Everything is from complete stillness and returns to stillness. So this name is primary point. Next is “become-one like this”. This substance, your substance, my substance, universal substance become one. What is one? Hit! or KATZ! We say “become-one like this” is True Nature. Next, only ‘like this”: ”What is Buddha?” “The sky is blue; trees are green,” or “Spring comes; the grass grows by itself.” Only this. ”3 x 3 = 9” All is like this, not bad, not good. With wide questions, wide answers are needed. ”What is Buddha?” “The wall is white.” ”What is karma?’ ”The dog likes the bone.” The meaning is truth. “3 x 3 = 9.” This style. And next, “just like this”: For one-point questions, you must give one-point answers. For example, here is an apple. If you say it is an apple, then you are attached to name and form. If you say it is not an apple, you are attached to emptiness. Is this an apple or not? At that time, what is the correct relationship between the apple and you? What is the correct function?

So “just like this” means the correct situation, the correct relationship. If you understand your true self, then any relationship is no problem. Your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, no problem. With your car and you, with your coffee and you, being correct is possible. Everyday mind is Zen Mind.

So these are the four kinds of “like this”: “without like this”, “become-one like this”, “only like this”, and “just like this.” “First word” means “become-one like this”. “Last word” means “just like this”. What is the correct relationship between you and something?

So I ask you: The first word and the last word, are they the same or different? Mu Mun said they are not one word. Then are they different? The same? If somebody says the same, this stick will hit them. If somebody says different, this stick will also hit them.



One head, two hands

Dry Cleaning the Mind

Dear Soen Sa Nim,

I returned last Friday from twelve days of “hard sitting” – a Vipassana meditation retreat led by Jack Kornfield, whom you know. There was your letter with the Kido tape and pictures to welcome me home! Thank you so much! Although all that sitting (my first such intensive, continuous sitting) was “good” for me, what a gift to hear your chanting! I missed the bowing, chanting, eating ceremony, and your bell. It was also the first time in years (many, many) I have been away, alone, from my family and my usual life. Very strange. We lived very simply – a place far off in the country – no electricity – everything slowed way down – no talking – a mother Banty hen and eleven baby chicks – a full moon – hot mineral springs for our sore muscles – good teaching from Jack – the hardest thing I’ve ever done, nevertheless, to face my many, many attachments.

While there, I answered for myself the question I had asked you, why it is necessary to make our bodies suffer. It just is, that’s all! The axle, the wheels need breaking for the mind to be still. I feel discouraged that this will ever happen to me; yet I think (pardon that word!) that I scare myself when I look at the huge mountain of my ego, my habits, the way my small I is. I am trying to take each minute as a chance to let go to Big I.

It is very hard for me not to check my mind. I am not sure of myself. I feel when I reread a letter, sometimes, that what I say is not important, maybe no longer even true since the writing of it changed it somehow – that I should not be wasting your time, etc. Words are such a terrible way of communicating, and yet, how can people know each other without them? Especially at a distance? Also – another thing about checking my mind – I have tended all my life to be overly impulsive, to say what I feel too quickly – and later be sorry, since had I been able to wait, I would have perhaps been able to respond from a deeper level, not just from small I. So – I don’t trust myself at that point. Zen actions as opposed to impulsive, small-I actions: this is hard for me to learn!

It will be good to see you again, in Los Angeles. We are both very eager to be part of what you are doing – “to save the whole world from suffering.” What else is important?

Love, Diana

Dear Diana,

Thank you very much for your letter. You said you sat for twelve days – hard training. I sometimes say hard training is like dry cleaning the mind. All people use their minds every day, but they do not dry clean their minds, so their minds become dirty, and bad karma appears, and then more bad karma, so their minds cannot become clear. So hard training is sometimes very important. Sometimes cleaning is necessary; then your mind is not dirty.

Sometimes I check my mind, and my mind is sometimes clean and sometimes dirty, so hard training is necessary. If I don’t check my mind, then my mind is clear like space, so hard training is not necessary. Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am.” I am not thinking; therefore what? Cleaning is not necessary. If I think, then cleaning is necessary.

You were practicing with Jack. Jack is a very good teacher. Finally you understand about making our bodies suffer: “It just is.” That is wonderful. Clear mind means intuition mind. Intuition means no subject, no object; inside and outside become one mind. If you keep this mind always, moment to moment, you can understand your correct opinion, your condition, and your situation.

Most people separate their opinion, their condition, and their situation, but if you have a clear mind, your opinion, condition, and situation become one action; you cannot separate them. At teaching time, only teaching; when you return to your house, only mother’s mind; when talking to your husband, only wife’s mind; when you’re driving, only drive; when you’re walking, only walk; when you’re eating, only eat. Correct moment to moment action is your correct opinion, correct condition, correct situation. So don’t check anything. Only go straight – Kwan Seum Bosal; then you will get everything.

You say, “Words are such a terrible way of communicating.” But words are very important. If you are attached to words, words control you. You must control words. This means words and speech do not hinder your true self. So if you’re thinking, you are hindered by words and speech; if you’re not thinking, you have freedom from words and speech – no problem.

You say that you say what you feel too quickly. If you are attached to something, then you’re too quick; if you’re not attached to something, then you’re not quick but like a clear mirror. If something is reflected, then reflect; if something is not reflected, then nothing. Why quick? So, how do you keep just-now mind? This is very important.

Don’t check anything. Then you will get everything. Only go straight – Kwan Seum Bosal.

You did not say anything about your homework. Did you finish your homework?

I look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles.

I hope you always keep Kwan Seum Bosal mind, then soon finish the Great Work and get Enlightenment, and save all people from suffering.

Yours in the Dharma,


Dream Talking

One December day in 1977, Soen Sa Nim was answering students’ questions at the New Haven Zen Center.

Student: Do you dream about different kinds of things now that you are a Zen Master?

Soen Sa Nim: What kind of dreams?

Student: Well, I dream about things I desire, but if you don’t desire anything, what do you dream about?

Soen Sa Nim: Yes, I have dreams.

Student: What kind of dreams?

Soen Sa Nim: You are laughing, so I am laughing. This is a dream. You say you have a dream, so I am having a dream.

Student: I understand what you say, but I can’t believe it.

Soen Sa Nim: You can’t believe the dream. So your dream is a not-believing dream. Everything is a dream, O.K.? Just now we are talking. Last night you had a dream. How are they different?

Student: I can feel that they are different.

Soen Sa Nim: Feel? You say “different,” I say “same.”

Long ago in China, there were five schools of Zen: Rinzai, Soto, Poep An, Un Mun, and E An. E An and An Sahn together made one school. E An was the teacher, An Sahn the disciple. Once E An was asleep. At that time An Sahn was only his secretary. He happened to open the door, saw that the Zen Master was asleep, and slowly closed the door. The Zen Master woke up and said, “Just now, I had a dream. Do you understand?”

An Sahn said, “Yes, just now I understand,” and washed the Zen Master’s face with water. The Master said, “Oh, thank you for washing my face.” Then another disciple, Haeng Om, who later became a Zen Master, came into the Zen Master’s room. The Master said, “We were just talking about my dream. Do you understand my dream?”

Haeng Om said, “Yes, sir,” went into the kitchen, and brought in some tea. The Zen Master said, “Ah, my students are very wonderful. You all understand my dream.”

This is dream talking. What does it mean? If you wake up, wash your face. Then you drink tea. This is the correct way. If you completely understand dreams, then you understand the correct way.

You must understand that this whole world is a dream. Then your desire is a dream, your anger is a dream, and your life is also a dream. You must understand dreams; then you will have no desire for yourself and will act only for all people. Then you have a Bodhisattva dream — only help other people. But understanding is not enough; you must attain the dream. Then you will understand your true self. The wall is white. The floor is brown.

Do You Still Have Mind?

Zen Master Seung Sahn’s opening talk at Hwa Gye Sah temple in Seoul for the 1999-2000 Winter Kyol Che

The day after tomorrow we will begin our three month winter retreat, Kyol Che. Kyol Che means tight practicing. If you have mind, it’s very important to do tight practicing. If you can put it all down, then everything becomes “no problem”; but if you are holding something and are thinking, then doing Kyol Che is very important. If you do tight practicing then it’s possible to take away your mind: your thinking, your situation, your condition, your problem. Then you can attain your True Self and save all beings. This is our direction.

Human beings come into this world empty handed and go empty handed. When you are born, where do you come from? When you die, where do you go? Are you clear about that? Life is like a floating cloud which appears; death is like a floating cloud which disappears. The floating cloud itself originally does not exist. Coming, going, life and death are the same as a floating cloud. If you attain that, then you attain what it means to be a human being. Human beings are originally nothing. Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” “Thinking”… that’s a problem! If you are thinking, everything appears: I, My, Me appears, my direction, my condition, my situation–everything appears. Put it all down, completely put it all down. Then… nothing. You must attain “nothing”; that’s very important! If you attain nothing, then your job appears clearly in front of you.

Why did you come into this world? What you do here is your direction. This must become very clear. So, becoming clear means moment to moment put it down, then the bodhisattva way appears in front of you–only help all beings. Our True Self doesn’t have coming or going. Our True Self is clear like space. Clear like space means clear like a mirror. Clear like a mirror means everything is reflected. Something appears then–BOOM!–reflect. Then there is no I, My, Me mind. There isn’t any “my” direction. There is only help, bodhisattva direction. Moment to moment… how can I help all beings? That’s our correct direction.

Now we begin three months of hard practicing. Hard practicing means completely put it all down. Moment to moment put it down, put it down, put it down. Then our correct situation, correct function and correct relationship appears. That is the bodhisattva way. Not only this life. Life after life after life… continue, until all beings become Buddha, then your job is finished. But we still have all beings, ya? So, our job is not yet finished. Completely put down everything. Then you can see clear, hear clear, smell clear… everything is clear. Clear means truth. Sky is blue, tree is green, dog is barking, ” woof woof”, sugar is sweet–eveything is the truth. What is not the truth? The Bible says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” “I am the Way” means put it down, then the great Way appears. Then truth and you are never separate. Then how does this truth correctly function? Only help all beings. That’s very important. When hungry people appear give them food, when thirsty people appear give them drink, when suffering people appear only help them. That’s our direction. If you cannot find your direction, then you are same as an animal. Animals don’t understand themselves. They don’t understand truth, don’t understand the correct way and correct life. Three months practicing together means attain your True Self. Attain your True Self and believe in your True Self 100%.

Everyone here has read the old Chinese stories in our kong-an books. Very famous, but truth and function are not clear in these stories. The teaching is not clear. Our Kwan Um School of Zen teaching, though, is very clear. Primary point, truth and correct function are very clear. So most important is correct function, bodhisattva action. Only help all beings. And not only in this life, but life after life after life. Actually infinite time. If everybody becomes clear, then this moment becomes clear. Then this moment connects with infinite time. So, a moment is infinite time, infinite time is this moment.

So I hope everybody becomes clear moment to moment, attains their True Self, finds the correct way, truth and correct life, and saves all beings from suffering.

Thank you.

The Dog Runs Away with the Bone

From a letter:

An eminent teacher once said, “Original consciousness is always clear. Beyond the six roots and six consciousnesses and six dusts, it is not hindered by speech or words. True nature is not dyed. It is already round and clear. Put down all thinking: right now is your true self.”

You say that you were attached to emptiness. But a true attachment to emptiness is without words or speech. Just understanding emptiness is different from being truly attached to emptiness.

I am glad that your sitting is getting stronger. You say that your body and mind are still not integrated. This Is thinking. If you cut off all thinking, your mind becomes true emptiness. True emptiness is before thinking. Before thinking there are no words and no things. So where is there a body or a mind to be integrated?

You must always keep “What am I?” At first the question is very small, Then it grows and grows and grows until it fills the whole universe. And then, when it bursts, the great question itself becomes enlightenment.

Here is a poem for you:

Buddha said all things have Buddha-nature.
Jo-ju said the dog has no Buddha-nature.
But Buddha and Jo-ju don’t know Buddha-nature.
The dog runs away with the bone.

Yours sincerely,

S. S.

Dharma Speech at San Francisco Zen Center

given by Seung Sahn Soen-sa at the San Francisco Zen Center on February 9

(Hitting the table with his stick) Do you understand this? If you do, you understand One. If you don’t, you separate things into ten thousand classes and one thousand levels.

(Hitting the table) Do you understand this? If you do, you understand the ten thousand classes and one thousand levels. If you don’t, you have an attachment to One.

(Hitting the table) Do you understand this? If you open your mouth and say you understand, I will hit you thirty times. And if you say you don’t understand I will still hit you thirty times.



Spring air fills the universe and flowers are blossoming everywhere.

If you proclaim this, you shut the mouths of all Buddhas and all eminent teachers. So how can you hear what they say? To hear what they say, you must understand what sitting Zen is.

When you are able to stay perfectly clear by cutting off all thinking and yet not falling into a trance-like sleep, this is sitting. When inside and outside become one, and no circumstances can hinder you, this is Zen.

When you understand sitting Zen, you understand yourself. In your mind there is a diamond sword. If you want to understand yourself, take it and cut off good and bad, long and short, coming and going, high and low, God and Buddha. Cut off all things.

You must proceed as if you were walking on thin ice, concentrating totally on each one of your steps. If you make one wrong move you will die and go to hell like an arrow.

Passing beyond this realm of not-thinking, you reach the land of true emptiness. True emptiness is before thinking. This land contains no words and no speech; so there are no mountains, no rivers, no East, West, North, or South, no God and no Buddha.

But if you stay there you will become attached to emptiness, and not even the Buddha can save you.

When you are hanging by your hands from a mountain ledge, and can let go, not thinking of life or death, then you will have true freedom. You can see the wooden dog eating steel and shitting fire. You make friends with the hairyshelled turtle and the rabbit with horns. You learn to play the flute which has no holes. But where does the sound of the flute come from?

Leave this place behind, and you understand that birds sing, hills are green and the sky is blue. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching — the truth is just like this. This is the language of Buddha and eminent teachers. The sounds of rivers and birds are the sutras;, earth and sky are the very body of the Buddha.

(Holding up his stick) Then do you see this?

(Hitting the table) Do you hear this?

This stick, this sound, and your mind — are they the same or different?

If you say they are the same, that is not permitted, and the stick will hit you. If you say they are different, that is not permitted, and the stick will hit you. If you say they are both different and the same, that too is not permitted, and the stick will hit you even harder.



If you don’t enter the lion’s den, you will never capture the lion.

Dharma Speech at Harvard Divinity School

A Dharma Speech given by Seung Sahn Soen-sa at the Harvard Divinity School, on March 12

(Hitting the floor with his stick) Are you alive? Are you dead?

(Hitting the floor) Where does life come from? Where does death go?

(Hitting the floor) If you think life, you go to hell like an arrow. If you think death, your body has no place.



The blue mountain does not move; the white cloud floats back and forth. Life is like a cloud appearing in the sky. Death is like a cloud disappearing in the sky. Originally the cloud doesn’t exist. It is the same with life and death. But there is one thing that is present forever, forever clear and luminous.

What is this one thing?

If you want to understand, listen to these four sentences:

1. Under the sea the running mud cow eats the moon.

2. In front of the rock the stone tiger sleeps, holding a baby in its arms.

3. The steel snake drills into the eye of a diamond.

4. Mount Kan rides on the back of an elephant, pulled by a little bird.

Of these four sentences, there is one that will give you freedom from life and death. Which one is it?

When you can see the horned rabbit sleeping under the tree with no roots, then you will first attain.

What is enlightenment? If you want to understand, you must let your mind become clear like vast space. All thinking and all desire fall away, and you have no hinderance anywhere.

To let your mind become clear like vast space — what does this mean? Do you understand? This is true enlightenment.

All Buddhas and all six realms of existence return to it. All things have it, one by one. It is happening in everything.

So, even if you have never meditated, you already understand.

(Holding up his stick) Do you see this?

(Hitting the floor) Do you hear this?

Already you clearly see and hear.

Then this stick, this sound, and your mind — are they the same or different?

If you say ‘the same,’ I will hit you thirty times. If you say ‘different,’ I will still hit you thrity times.



The willow is green, the floor is red.

Correct Meditation

The following is a portion of a Dharma Speech that Zen Master Seung Sahn gave at the Cambridge Zen Center on Saturday, July 16th.

When I was in the hospital, the doctors checked my heart. The first time they checked, there were 23-25 mistakes (premature ventricular contractions) in one minute, out of about 80 beats.

Many people have read about research by a Harvard professor who checked people with bad hearts, diabetes, etc. He checked people who did meditation and people who didn’t. People who didn’t do meditation were O.K. with medicine, but not O.K. without their medicine. But people who tried concentration meditation got better more quickly, and were O.K. without their medicine. The Transcendental Meditation people advertised this: “Meditation can fix many sicknesses.” So now many doctors like meditation. So my doctors said, “Soen Sa Nim, you are a Zen Master, so you try!” So I said, “O.K., I will try.” So I tried this fix-your-body meditation. In three days my heart was making only five mistakes — usually it takes about one month to recover like this, so my doctors understood this meditation was helping my body, so they were very happy.

After one week, my heart was only making one or two mistakes, and my doctors said, “This is wonderful! Most people take two or three months to come down to only one or two mistakes each minute!” So I said, “Thank you very much, you have helped me, so I can get better quickly. But this is only fix-your-body meditation. This is not correct meditation.”

“Why isn’t this correct meditation?” they asked.

“You can fix your body, your heart, your diabetes. In Korea, China, and India there are people who do yoga. They go to the mountains and do breath-in, breath-out meditation. They can live 500 years and not get sick. Keeping their bodies for a long time is possible; even flying in the sky is possible. Trying this style body meditation, anything is possible. A body is like a car. Use the car a lot, and in three years, it is broken. Only keep the car in the garage, then keeping it for a long time is possible. But finally after 500 years, then these yoga people die. Then what? Live a long time, then die; live a short time, then die — it is the same! Dying is the same.”

The doctors understood. “What is correct meditation then?”

I told them, “I always try meditation. Meditation means always keeping one mind, not-moving mind.” They thought meditation meant only concentration and keeping your body still. So I said, “Meditation means keeping one mind. You must understand — what is life? What is death? If you keep one mind, there is no life, no death. Then if you die tomorrow, no problem; if you die in five minutes, no problem.”

“What do you mean, ‘no problem?'” they asked.

“Maybe you do fix-your-heart meditation. Then, ‘My heart is good, my body is good.’ It is very easy to become attached to this meditation. But when you get old, and your heart is not so good, then you try this meditation. Maybe it is still not so good. Then, ‘Why doesn’t my meditation work?’ Then your body, your meditation, become hindrances. If your meditation cannot help your body, then you don’t believe in your meditation. Then what? So this style meditation is no good.

“Correct meditation means correctly understanding your situation moment by moment — what are you doing now? Only do it! Then each action is complete each action is enough. Then no thinking, so each moment I can perceive everything just like this. Just like this is truth. Sick-time, only be sick. Driving-time, only drive. Only go straight — then any situation is no problem.

The doctors liked this; they wanted to hear more about Zen. So six doctors came to my room and I talked to them for two hours. One doctor asked me, “I am very busy, at the hospital, then going home to my family — how can I keep a clear mind?”

”Clear mind,” I told them, “means moment to moment, what are you doing now? When you are with your patients, only 100% keep doctor’s mind. When you leave the hospital and you are driving home, 100% keep driver’s mind. When you meet your wife, 100% keep husband’s mind. This means each moment only go straight; don’t make ‘I, my, me.’ If you make ‘I, my, me,’ then your opinion, your condition, your situation appear; then you have a problem.

”If, when you are with your patients, you think, ‘Where is my wife? Is she spending a lot of money?’ Then this patient is talking to you and you only say, ‘Uhm, yeah, mmm-hmm.’ So the patient is thinking, ‘What does the doctor think?’ They don’t believe you. If you are talking to your wife, and she is telling you something important, and you are thinking about the hospital, this is just your opinion, this is just thinking; it is not your just-now situation. So put it all down, only go straight.

“We say jeon il, completely become one. When you are doing an operation, you and this knife completely become one. When you are driving in your car, you and your car only become one. If you drive on a road with pebbles and you are not thinking, only driving, then you can feel these pebbles under your tires. Only become one means, you and your action completely become one, then you and the universe only-become one — completely no-thinking mind. Inside and outside become one. The name for this is, ‘only go straight,’ or ‘put it all down,’ or ‘don’t make anything,’ or ‘keep clear mind.”’

“If you are only in the present, how can you plan for the future or choose a direction? I have to plan for my patients, and for myself, my family,” one doctor said.

So I said, “What is the purpose of life? I asked many old people in the hospital this question, or ‘What did you get out of life?’ and many said, ‘Nothing.’ Maybe they have a good job, good family, good wife or husband, but these things cannot help them now. They want something they cannot have, and they understand this, so they say, ‘Nothing.’ This is understanding nothing. But understanding cannot help them, so they are suffering. Zen means attain this nothing mind. The Buddha said, ‘If you keep clear mind moment by moment, then you will get happiness everywhere.’

“Zen is attaining this nothing mind, and using this nothing mind. How can you use it? Zen means making this nothing mind into big-love mind. Nothing mind means no ‘I, my, me,’ no hindrance. So this mind can change to Great Compassion mind, action-for-all-people mind. This is possible. Nothing mind does not appear, does not disappear. So moment by moment, it is possible to keep your correct situation. Then your mind is like a mirror — when you are with your patients, only become one. Then helping them is possible. When you are with your family, only become one; then understanding what is best for them is clear. Just like this. The blue mountain does not move. The white clouds float back and forth.”

Conversation with a Great Sutra Master

Zen Master Seung Sahn: If one perceives their true self for one second it’s better than reading sutras for ten thousand years.

Sutra Master: I vowed to read the Diamond Sutra ten thousand times. Should I continue or not?

ZMSS: Why do you read the sutra?

Sutra Master: To take away karma.

ZMSS: Originally there is no karma. If you make karma, then you will have karma. If you don’t make karma, then there’s no karma. Keeping a “this moment mind” is very important. If you are holding onto or checking the past, then all your karma will appear. If you are not checking or holding the past, present or future then your karma will not appear. So, moment mind is very important. Karma comes from your mind. No mind, then no karma. Originally there is no mind.

Sutra Master: Should I continue to read the Diamond Sutra?

ZMSS: Reading the sutra is OK. Don’t attach to the words. Only perceive the sutra’s true meaning. Who are you? Don’t know! That is the “Big Question.” The big question is most important. Only keep this big question. The big question better than reading sutras.

Sutra Master: Because I have already made a big commitment to read this sutra, I feel a lot of pressure.

ZMSS: That is not so good.

Sutra Master: Then what should I do?

ZMSS: Put it all down–let it all rest. Eating time, just eat. Someone comes to your temple and wants a ceremony, just chant. Someone wants to read a sutra, just read sutra together with them. Don’t keep your opinion, your condition, or your situation. Then you will perceive your true nature. That is the sutra’s true meaning.

Coming Empty Handed – Zen Master Seung Sahn in Ann Arbor

Reprinted from Cutting Edge, American Zen Arts Quarterly Volume 1, Number 1 (Spring 1985).

Zen Master Seung Sahn is a stocky Korean man with a round face, shaved head, and laughing eyes. He travels to many different countries each year, spreading the dharma of Zen Buddhism in an effort to “save all beings from suffering.”

Zen Master Seung Sahn is the seventy-eighth patriarch in his line of succession in the Chogye order, the predominant Buddhist denomination in Korea. Raised in a Christian family, he studied Western philosophy and considered a career in politics before taking Buddhist monk’s vows. In 1948 he embarked on a hundred day retreat alone in the mountains, spending his time in intense meditation and chanting. During his retreat he ate only pine needles, which turned his skin green. According to his book Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, he came to the understanding that “the rocks, the river, everything he could see, everything he could hear, all this was his true self. All things are exactly as they are. The truth is just like this.” In 1949, at the age of twenty-two, he attained enlightenment. This was confirmed by the great Korean Zen Master Ko Bong, who gave Zen Master Seung Sahn “inka” or transmission of the dharma. Ko Bong’s transmission publicly certified and authenticated Zen Master Seung Sahn’s enlightenment experience, giving him the authority to teach and train students.

Following his enlightenment experience, Zen Master Seung Sahn spent three years in silence, strengthening his Zen practice. He then became active in the Chogye order, founding temples in Korea and Japan. In 1972 he came to the United States, but only as a tourist, as he did not believe teaching Zen to Americans was possible. When someone convinced him that university students might be interested in practicing Zen, he decided to stay. He took a job at a laundromat near Brown University, fixing washing machines and sweeping the floors. A professor from Brown recognized his robes and sent several students to him for instruction in Zen practice. “At first they didn’t know if he was real or a fake,” says Mu Sang Sunim, an American monk who sometimes travels with the Zen Master. “He used to cook big pots of soup for his students. He would chop up onions, and then kick the onion skins under the table. They thought a great Zen Master would not kick onion skins under the table.”

His group eventually became the Providence Zen Center, now located in Cumberland, Rhode Island. This center houses Zen Master Seung Sahn’s Kwan Um School of Zen, and is the head temple for more than sixty Zen centers and affiliates worldwide. Zen Master Seung Sahn spends much of his time visiting these centers, teaching, talking, and giving interviews.

On March 25, 1985, Zen Master Seung Sahn’s itinerary brought him to Ann Arbor, Michigan. When he arrived at the Detroit Metro Airport, he was met by his host, Michael Elta, a dharma teacher of the Kwan Um School of Zen, and members of the Mu Mun Sa temple in Northville. He was accompanied an American monk, Mu Ryang Sunim, who was traveling as his secretary. Zen Master Seung Sahn’s first stop in Ann Arbor was the Zen Buddhist Temple, where he visited with the abbot, Sanbul Sunim, and other residents.

That evening, Zen Master Seung Sahn gave a public talk at the Friends’ Meeting House. He arrived with an entourage of fellow monks wearing formal long grey robes and brown kasas. First he sat in the foyer, smiling and holding a child in his lap, as his students greeted him with three full prostrations, a traditional sign of great respect. He made his way into the main meeting room, the noise of the crowd slowly halted, and the talk began.

The first speaker was Michael Elta, who provided the audience with a background of Zen Master Seung Sahn and his teaching. Next, Mu Ryang Sunim gave a short talk about his discovery of the Zen path. After thanking the previous speakers, Zen Master Seung Sahn asked for questions from the audience.

ZMSS: Does anybody have questions? Any kind of question, about your practice, your life, your problems?

Q: Sir, I was wondering what exactly is American Zen? How is it different from Korean Zen?

ZMSS: You take away American Zen, Korean Zen … that is correct Zen. (laughter) Zen is not special, OK? Zen is everyday life. When Korean people are hungry, they eat. When American people are hungry, they also eat. That’s all.

Q: I have been training very hard as an athlete for many years and have been studying very hard in graduate school, trying to get knowledge. But sometimes I felt an imbalance which I couldn’t get a hold of until I started studying martial arts. My instructor gave me some books on Zen. Will this type of practice help me to deal with the amount of pressure and stress I put on myself, mentally and physically, as an athlete and student?

ZMSS: You have too much desire.

Q: Well, I enjoy doing a lot of things. I want…

ZMSS: Yes, you. “I want to understand, I want the martial arts, I want the teaching. I want that, I, I, I, I … ” Then it is “I.” Who are you? I ask you, who are you? (laughs) You don’t understand you, so you don’t understand your direction. If you don’t understand your direction, you cannot do anything. That’s the wrong way. You cannot get balance.

The Bible says, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” In Zen, I must understand my true self, and find the correct way, correct truth, correct life. The same way, but technically different. Christians believe in God. Zen means that you must believe in your true self.

How do you believe one hundred percent? That’s very important. If you believe in your true self one hundred percent, then you can believe your hand, your eyes, your ears, your nose, your tongue, your body, your mind. Then you can believe one hundred percent that the sky is blue, trees are green, water is wet. You can believe everything. Also, you can believe in God, believe in Buddha … it’s possible.

So, I ask you again: who are you? (The questioner has been taking notes.) Put the pen down, OK? (Zen Master Seung Sahn laughs) Many thousands of lines written down cannot help you.

Q: That’s hard for me to answer because I haven’t thought about it.


Q: You get wrapped up in where you are and what you’re doing, as opposed to who you are.

ZMSS: Make it simple, not complicated. I ask you, who are you? You don’t understand, you only don’t know. That’s a very simple answer. What is an explanation? An explanation is your understanding. That only makes it more complicated.

Human beings come empty handed, go empty handed. When you are born, where do you come from? When you die, where do you go? Life is like a floating cloud which appears. Death is like a floating cloud which disappears. The floating cloud does not exist. A human being coming and going, life and death, are also like that. Our body is like the floating cloud. But there is one thing which always remains clear. It is pure and clear, not dependent on life and death. What is the one pure and clear thing? If you find it, you will have freedom from life and death. So, where do you come from? Don’t know, right? I ask you, what is your name?

Q: Mark.

ZMSS: Mark. That’s your body name. Not your true self name. How old are you? (Zen Master Seung Sahn laughs.) Maybe you understand body age, but you don’t understand true age. When you die, where do you go? Don’t know, right? So: coming, “don’t know”; name, “don’t know”; age, “don’t know”; going, “don’t know.” So, you are “don’t know,” OK? That’s “don’t know mind.” Very important.

A long time ago a famous Zen Master would say, “Understand your true self.” One day, one of his students asked him, “Do you understand your true self?” He said, “I don’t know. But I understand this ‘don’t know.'” That’s a famous “don’t know” classic (laughs). So this “don’t know” mind is very important. Keep this “don’t know” mind and listen to me, OK?

When you are thinking, your mind and my mind are different. When you cut off all thinking, then your mind and my mind are the same. If you keep “don’t know” mind one hundred percent – don’t know – at that time, your “don’t know” mind, my “don’t know” mind, everybody’s “don’t know” mind are the same. “Don’t know” mind has already stopped thinking. Stopped thinking means no thinking. No thinking means empty mind. Empty mind means before thinking. Your before thinking is your substance. My before thinking is my substance (hits his chest). This stick’s substance, universal substance, everything’s substance, is the same substance.

So, when you keep “don’t know” mind one hundred percent – don’t know – at that time you are the universe, the universe is you. You and everything have become one. That is, as we say, primary point. So, “don’t know” is not don’t know, “don’t know” is primary point. Primary point’s name is “don’t know.” Some people say primary point’s name is mind, or Buddha, or God, or nature, or substance, or absolute, or energy, or holy, or consciousness, or everything. But true primary point has no name, no form, no speech, no word, because it is before thinking. Only when you keep a “don’t know” mind one hundred percent – don’t know – at that time you and everything have already become one. So I ask you, when you keep “don’t know,” at that time, are this stick and you the same or different?

Q: The same.

ZMSS: Correct. But if you say, “the same,” I will hit you. I have this Zen stick. If you say, “different,” I will hit you. Because primary point is before thinking. Before thinking, there is no speech, no words. Open your mouth, and already it is a mistake. If you are thinking, already it is a mistake. So, to say “same” is thinking, to say “different” is also thinking. Close your mouth; how do you answer? The stick and you, are they the same or different? The same! But if you open your mouth it is already a mistake. That’s a very important point. If you don’t understand, come to the Zen center (laughs). I’ll give you a hint.

A long time ago, Buddha spoke on a mountain. There were twelve hundred others there. Usually, Buddha opened his mouth and talked: “True self is this, our mind is this.” But on this day, he did not open his mouth. A minute passed, then two, then three. Finally, everyone began to wonder, “Why won’t Buddha speak?” Buddha only picked up one flower. (Zen Master Seung Sahn picks up a flower) No one understood – only Mahakashyapa, his number one student. Mahakashyapa smiled. The Buddha said, “My true dharma transmission goes to you.” Buddha never opened his mouth. Mahakashyapa never opened his mouth. Buddha only picked up a flower. Mahakashyapa only smiled. They connected. My question is, a long time ago Buddha picked up a flower. Today, I pick up a flower. Buddha’s flower, my flower, are they the same or different? Open your mouth, I will hit you. Close your mouth, I will hit you. What can you do? That is the point, OK?

That flower Buddha held up long ago is substance. Today, this flower is substance. Not different. Always, opposite thinking cannot help. Put down your understanding.

People have dust in their consciousness, their computers. It is necessary to clean this dust. If you have dust in your computer, it is necessary to clean it. For that we use special soap (laughter). If you cannot find this special soap, you cannot clean your computer (rubs his head). This is your head computer. That soap’s name is “don’t know” soap (laughter).

Always, only try “don’t know,” then clean, clean, clean. Clean your computer, then your computer is clear like space. Clear like space means clear like a mirror. Then red comes, that’s red. White comes, that’s white. Somebody is hungry, give them food. Somebody is thirsty, then give them a drink. That’s not knowledge, that’s wisdom. So, to have your mind clear like space is very important. If you want your mind clear like space, then your understanding and your mind must go into the garbage. That’s very important.

This world has many problems. Why are there problems? There is much fighting, too much understanding and desire. Too much understanding means, “My way is correct. Your way is not correct. My opinion is correct. Your opinion is not correct.” Russia says, “Only Russia’s way is correct.” America says, “Only America’s way is correct.” And desire: “I want to control this world.” Everyone holds their opinion.

Two young people get married. The first year they love each other. No problem. The second year, “I don’t like you.” It begins. The third year, “I don’t like you!” “I also don’t like you!” They are holding their opinion, so they fight and separate. Putting down your opinion is very important. Put down your opinion, your condition, your situation. Then, correct opinion, correct condition, and correct situation appear. This is wisdom. Put it all down; that’s very important.

Now, you are practicing “you cannot.” Instead, practice “you can.” That’s all. You must choose.

Q: A while back I was reading that when people think of anything, they give words to it – labels. It occurred to me that enlightenment and the dharma are things without words, and that is why it’s so hard for people to understand them. How do you get to “before thinking” mind?

ZMSS: (picks up a cup) This is a cup. If you say “cup,” then you are attached to name and form. If you say “no cup,” then you are attached to emptiness. This cup never says, “I am a cup.” If you say “cup,” that’s wrong, OK? We say “cup.” A dog would never say “cup.” So if you say “cup,” you are attached to name and form. Is it a cup or not?

Q: Don’t know.

ZMSS: You ask me.

Q: Is that a cup?

ZMSS: (drinks from the cup) “Cup” or “not cup” doesn’t matter. Correct function is what’s necessary. That is Zen. Do it. Don’t check, don’t attach to name and form. Moment to moment, understand correct function, correct relationship. If you meet your parents, you must act from obligation to them. With your friends, correct relationship is necessary. You have your pen, your cup, your watch, your glasses, your robe – your correct function and correct relationship is very important. Your country, the whole world, all beings, must have correct relationship and correct function. How? Zen practice means putting down your opinion, your condition, your situation; then correct situation, correct function, is possible. Too many people seek understanding. They go to school, to universities, are called Masters or Doctors – too much understanding.

One man I stayed with had a Ph.D. He made lots of money. No problem. But inside, he had much suffering. Why? He kept saying, “more, more, more.” So he had a problem. (laughs) That kind of person has a big problem.

So, digest. Digest, and understanding becomes wisdom. Wisdom means your understanding, your direction, and your actions become one. Understanding is this way, action is that way. Understanding is like a Buddha, or God, or Christ. But action is like a dog or a cat. (laughs) This is unbalanced. So, it is very important that you don’t check anything. Moment to moment, what are you doing now? Just do it one hundred percent. Don’t check anything, don’t hold anything, Just do it. That is Zen practice. If your center is not strong, you cannot do it. If your center is strong, then you can do it. So it is very important that your center is strong.

If your center is strong, you can control your feelings, your condition, your situation. Then you can change your karma. Everything comes from primary cause, condition, and result. You take away primary cause – it is possible – you take away primary cause, then condition and result changes. That means you can change natural processes. That means you can change your life, which means you can do anything. So, we have two kinds of worlds: “I can” and “I can not.” Which one do you like? (laughter) I can? Then you try. You try, then you can. Never say, “I cannot,” OK? Very clear, OK?

Q: What you are saying, isn’t that a concept as well? Aren’t you denying a certain part of the person? Aren’t you defining what is the basic person, the primary person; that center you were describing, isn’t it a concept? Aren’t you denying other forms, other realms of reality, in order to get to the one you’re after? Why is this more true, more absolute, more “it” than something else? Everything that you are saying is defining a certain kind of being at the expense of another kind of being. I can define another kind of being that excludes yours. In other words, it seems like there are alternate realities from the one you are talking about. And one is not any more basic, primary, true, than another one. Why do we choose one over the other?

ZMSS: You understand too much. That is your sickness. This is only your talk about “outside.” What is your inside? Consciousness this, consciousness that. You make that, OK? A dog does not make that. Stupid people do not make that. You are clever, so you make that. If I hit you, what do you say?

Q: Ouch.

ZMSS: Correct! Keep this mind, OK? (audience laughs with Zen Master Seung Sahn) That’s all, just direct. That is, we say, an unconditional reflex.

Q: That is a simple response. If you hit me I feel pain. When I …

ZMSS: Don’t check! Why are you checking? What are you doing now? I ask you, what are you doing now?

Q: I am checking you.

ZMSS: So you have a problem. You ask me.

Q: What are you doing now?

ZMSS: Sitting on the chair, talking to you. That is all.

Q: Aren’t you thinking when you’re talking to me? You sound very coherent and clear.

ZMSS: Why are you checking me? Don’t check me. What are you doing now?

Q: Checking you. (everyone laughs)

ZMSS: Don’t check, don’t hold, don’t attach, don’t want. If you are checking, holding, attached, wanting, you will always have a problem. If you want happiness, if you want peace, if you want love, don’t check, don’t hold, don’t attach, don’t want, OK? That’s all. (laughs) OK, more questions.

Q: Isn’t this where young infants are? They don’t check.

ZMSS: Very good question. A young baby, we say, has “Buddha’s mind.” Very clear mind. But as it grows up, memory appears, then the mind becomes tainted. A baby only reflects: unhappy, cry; very happy, no problem. So they have no memory, they only just do it. Moment to moment, not checking anything, not checking mother, not checking father – only do it, do it, do it mind. That’s child mind.

Child’s mind is like a Zen Master’s mind. But a child doesn’t understand correct function. Child’s mind is very pure and clear, but how do you have a correct pure and clear mind? They have no correct situation, correct function, correct relationships; they don’t understand. But, if you have correct function, correct relationships, correct situation, that is called great love, great compassion, the great bodhisattva way. Only that is different.

Q: Can’t a “don’t know” mind, or “just doing it” be dangerous in some cases, like in the case of maybe a surgeon who just “does it” and doesn’t think?

ZMSS: One of my students here is a professor. He teaches music. One day he said to me, “I have a problem.”

“What kind of problem?”

“I teach music, but I want to keep ‘don’t know’ mind strong while teaching. If I keep ‘don’t know’ mind strong, I cannot teach music correctly. What should I do?”

“You have too much desire. You don’t understand what is ‘don’t know.'”

“I understand ‘don’t know’ mind.”

“So I ask you, what is ‘don’t know’ mind?”

Then he hit the floor. That is Zen interview style. “Only that?” Then water is wet and sky is blue. That’s all. “Don’t know” mind is not special, just “do it” mind.

One hundred percent teaching music, that name is “don’t know.” One hundred percent driving, that name is “don’t know.” One hundred percent sitting, that name is “don’t know.” A doctor who fixes a body, that is “don’t know” one hundred percent. Moment to moment one hundred percent action. That is “don’t know.” Not special, OK?

Somebody is hungry; give them food. Somebody is thirsty; give them a drink. That is “don’t know.” So “don’t know” means make correct situation, correct function, correct relationship. So that means great love, great compassion, the great bodhisattva way. Just do it, OK?

Many people understand love. What is love? Love means exact condition. “Don’t know” means already cut off from your mind any condition, any situation, any opinion. So, if you keep “don’t know” mind, then your mind is clear like space, and clear like a mirror. Just do correct action. We call this “love mind.”

A long time ago in China, there was a famous Zen Master, Nam Cheon. One day as he was in his room, it grew very, very noisy outside. So he opened the door and looked out. There, over in the east, stood 250 people, and over in the west stood 250 people, all fighting about a cat. “That’s my cat.” “No, no, our cat.” “My cat!” “Our cat!” These 500 people were fighting, so the Zen Master was very angry. He picked up the cat. “You! One moment! Tell me why you want this cat. If you cannot I will kill it.” But out of 500 people nobody answered. The Zen Master was checking his students’ minds. Did they truly love the cat or were they attached to the cat? Finally Zen Master Nam Cheon felt that killing was necessary, so KAH! he killed the cat. Then in the evening his number one student, Zen Master Joju, came in from outside. Zen Master Nam Cheon, still a little sad, talked to his disciple. “If you had been there, what would you have done?” Joju only took off his shoes, put them on his head, and went outside. Then Zen Master Nam Cheon said, “If you had been there, I could have saved the cat.”

What does this mean? If you have true love inside, if everybody has true love, they would understand this kong-an. Only understanding love is not the answer. You must attain love. If you attain love, then you will understand this kong-an. So understanding love is very easy, attaining love is very difficult. That’s an important point.

We are talking too much. In this world, many people have a problem. In Cambodia, Africa, India, South America, there are many hungry people. So how to help them? There are two kinds of hungry people: body hungry people and mind hungry people. Body hungry people are not so much of a problem.

Mind hungry people have many problems and make this world have many problems. Russia, America, China – all political people have strong opinions. “My way is correct!” “Your way is not correct!” Then they make nuclear weapons, much fighting, break this universe and kill many people. Many also kill animals and make more problems. That is mind hungry people; they have lots of problems.

So, first we take away mind hungry people, then world peace is no problem, and body hungry people disappear. How do mind hungry people make themselves full? They have lost their human nature. If everybody finds human nature – finds love mind, compassion mind, bodhisattva mind – then world peace is no problem. All over the world, they don’t understand love. So how can they find love and human nature?

Meditation is very important. When we meditate, we find our true self, and understand correct way, correct truth, correct life. We make many dharma foods: dharma candy, dharma ice cream, dharma bananas, dharma apples, dharma rice cakes. We make much dharma food for these mind hungry people, and give it to them. Then they will eat this dharma food, make enough mind, then no more fighting. No more fighting, then all the nuclear weapons money can go to Africa and India, then also no body hunger problem. How can we make world peace? How can we help these body hungry people?

Human being is number one bad animal. Dogs are not so bad, tigers are not so bad, snakes are not so bad. Only human being is number one bad. They fight, hunt, fish, make bombs, make nuclear weapons, make pollution. They make many problems in this world. All human beings must understand their situation. Human beings must wake up.

All animals say, “Human beings are number one bad! If human beings all die, then world peace is possible.” Yes, animals say that. So human beings have number one bad situation. Human beings must wake up, find human nature, understand the correct way and truth, and also attain this great love, great compassion, great bodhisattva way.

This world is not only a human being world; it’s also a dog world, cat world, snake world, tree world, air world, mountain world. Every kind of world contributes to the whole world. So we must help human beings wake up.

I hope everybody will return to their homes, and practice every day for ten minutes. Ten minutes: “What am I? Only don’t know.” Lying down is OK, sitting on a cushion is OK, sitting on a chair is OK, walking is OK. Only try “don’t know.” Then your center becomes stronger, stronger, stronger. Finally you can control your feelings, your condition, your situation. Then you can believe in your true self one hundred percent.

Zen means not depending on anything. Depend on your true self. That means to become completely independent. Return to your homes, and only try “don’t know.” Try, try, try, soon get enlightenment and save all beings from suffering. Thank you.